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The Exchange - December 23, 2021

2021-12-23
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  • Sanctions and Retaliation over Uyghurs | The latest tit-for-tat sanctions between Washington and Beijing come as the Chinese government prohibited four members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom from entering Mainland China. The decision was announced days after the U.S. Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and added eight more Chinese companies to the investment blacklist over the alleged human rights abuse of the Uyghur Muslim minority. Observers warn that further aggressive movements by the U.S. government, such as tightening rules on SMIC and outbound investment, are possible in the coming months.
  • Biden’s Build Back Better Act is Facing Dilemma | Mainly focused on making major changes to social spending, climate, and taxes, President Biden’s signature Build Back Better Act was blocked in the Senate due to the opposition of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. People mock that Sen. Manchin, the pivotal swing voter in Congress, is “the real president” of the United States since President Biden needs his support to make any move in the Senate. The knifing of the BBB Act not only is a heavy blow to the Biden Administration but also has lessened the likelihood for the Democratic party to keep the Senate in 2022 Midterm elections.
  • Lithuania and China Cut Ties | China has halted all bilateral trade with Lithuania after the Baltic state became the first European country allowing "Taiwan" to appear in the name of Taipei's Representative Office. Experts believe that instead of striking back with sanctions on China directly, the U.S. and the EU should rather provide better support to states like Lithuania which are vulnerable to economic coercion.

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